Ted's Birthday Letter to Saniel
May 3, 1998
On this birthday, I want you to know without a doubt what a miracle you are to me, and what an absolute blessing you have been since the first moment I met you. In case I havent mentioned this, the first time I came to sit with you, the force of your embodied presence was enough to convince me bodily that I had found home. It took my mind a couple of months to catch up, but I could not help but come around several times a week to get what I was very hungry for. I will never forget the day you told me that this was a "finishing school" for the ultimate realization of consciousness. Nor the first time, after weeks of dharma forensics from my side, that I cracked and you held me. Nor the first time that you yelled your love so fiercely at me that I fell quite unexpectedly into a huge new opening. I cannot forget the way you gladly obliged me in my request to be "sold" on the concept of feeling. Or the way you understood so precisely what had happened to me when I became the Borg. Nor the thousands of ways you have held me so dearly and never failed to acknowledge my gifts. I want you to know that your endless love, you seemingly boundless patience with my dissociative and sometimes ungrateful arrogance, and your exceedingly skillful caring in so many very specific and conscious ways has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated by me. In all these ways and so many more, you have stolen my heart forever, and I swear that I shall never abandon you and my commitment to our mission together. You are my guru and my Christ [Note: please ignore those words if they press your buttons], and you have shown me the way to carry my own cross in this ecstatic nightmare of a human lifetime.
I must also make clear how perfectly obvious it is to me that the ways you have loved so many others here, the ways that you have dared to be your whole self, and the risks that you take every day not only for our sakes, but for the sake of all beings, is, as far as I can tell, historically unprecedented, and heroic on a universal scale. Many great men have built temples. Many have created sanghas. Many have written wise and penetrating books. Some have empowered a few awakenings. But you have done all these things beyond all previous precedents. And, you have broken the code for all humankind to realize their divinely human conscious embodiment and avatarship. You have dared to tear down the shields of deflection from all spiritual teachers on the planet. You have hacked a space from the bewildering jungle of confused, incomplete, hypermasculine, and vampiristic teachings that have held this planet in paralysis for millenia. You have parted the red sea of separation and confusion that has plagued man and womankind since time began and made a safe space for us to walk quite directly into the long-promised land of our own awakened life. And you have shown us how to live here, fully down, fully human, and fully divine, in our everyday lives of sex, money, and our daily struggle for survival. And if that was not enough, you have shown us how much we need each other, precisely how to find each other, and how to stay caring.
It seems impossibly long, but the list of your glories feels incomplete without mentioning a few more of your immense achievements. Such as the simple fact of your leaving your unspeakably beloved teacher for the sake of your own truth and integrity. Such as your ability to find the Onlyness and your ability to stand in it without qualified support. Such as your ability to pass through the worst of your shakedown without the direct help of seniors in the process. Such as your ability to start over in the laboratory of Being, and then discover the hidden keys to conscious embodiment and divine personhood in mutuality. Such as the way you blasted open the huge space needed to created a potent temple and alchemical chamber and trinity of love between you and Linda and Fay in the face of intense negative conditioning, including plenty from your own beloved sangha. Such as the ways you permit us all to be our worst and most miserable selves, so that we can accept ourselves enough to awaken. Such as the extreme intelligence which you bring to bear on every situation, such that you never to fail to identify and speak quite directly and eloquently to the deepest and most hidden parts of our being in such a way that continues to liberate us daily. Such as your amazing skill in facilitating extremely complex and dangerous situations with the same apparent ease required to assemble a ham sandwich. And your willingness to plow your money and your efforts into a new enterprise, dedicated to the embodied freedom of all people. And this list would not be complete without acknowledging how, despite constant resistance, despite all the struggles you face daily in your own need for physical and financial survival and health, despite all the responsibilities you have accepted, you unfailingly hold us all with all your heart, both individually and as a sacred family. Honestly, Saniel, with all of that, I dont understand how you have time to get so good at playing the flute.
It is not enough that I acknowledge you as this most amazing miracle that you are. You must know, if you dont already, that the only way I can begin to repay you for all your love is to work with all my heart to support you and Linda and Fay, to make myself available to help my people, to love and support my wife the way I see you loving and support your wives, and to do everything I personally can to let the world know that we are here and that this is available. To these ends, I dedicate my entire life.